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#32380 - 12/22/03 12:19 PM Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
VOLTS  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 21
Could I get some opinions on Aluminium or steel conduits. When ordering 2" rigid conduit for a job I ordered steel. The conduit run will be outdoors on an overhead rack at a chemical facility. 1/2 the guys are complaining that steel is to heavy but they are straight runs and I always felt steel was easier to pull through. could I get some thoughts? Thanks

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#32381 - 12/22/03 02:51 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
The main consideration that I'm aware of(besides weight, and Code requirements) for steel (Fe) v. Al is atmospheric considerations. Are there vapors which would affect Fe v. Al, or vice versa? If there are no atmospheric concerns, I guess it boils down to personal preference (As well as the AHJ, of course [Linked Image] )

I remember years ago seeing Fe, PVC, CPVC, Al, Stainless Fe, and some sort of bronze alloy conduit. Where there's a market, I guess...

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 12-22-2003).]

#32382 - 12/22/03 03:12 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Isn't aluminum conduit significantly more expensive?

Tell your guys to eat their Wheaties and get to work. [Linked Image]

Sorry not much sympathy, [Linked Image] we run a fair amount of 4" RMC, I have run 5" RMC and some of our guys have had to run a lot of 6" RMC.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#32383 - 12/22/03 03:32 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
VOLTS  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 21
That's what I told them. Love Your outlook IWIRE!

#32384 - 12/22/03 04:06 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
In my opinion aluminum while being lighter than steel is much harder to work with. If you over bend a 90 you can't take the bend out. It just makes another bend in the pipe below the 90. The first time some one walks on your pipe rack, the pipe will bend making the job look like a hack installed it. Even when using thread lube, the threads often "gall" up at fittings. It is too smooth inside and makes wire pulling harder than in steel conduit. It costs too much. I would only use it when it is required because of corrosive issues in the area.


#32385 - 12/22/03 06:25 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
walrus  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 680
Bangor Me. USA
Surprisingly last time I bought Aluminum in small sizes(1/2 3/4) it was less expensive. For the life of me couldn't figure that one out. This was years ago not sure about today

#32386 - 12/22/03 06:32 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
From tank-farm and dairy days, aluminum conduit will tie itself into knots from routine exposed expansion and contraction.

Seems to me it's one of those "looks good in the catalog" items, but you hate it a year later.

["Relton A-9" aluminum cutting fluid smells and looks like 1950’s Aqua Velva shaving lotion.]

#32387 - 12/22/03 10:11 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA


Tell your guys to eat their Wheaties and get to work. [Linked Image]

Double LOL!!! [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]



"Relton A-9" aluminum cutting fluid smells and looks like 1950’s Aqua Velva shaving

Must have seen / smelled this a few times myself - sometimes in the stock room Conduit racks, where short sections of Conduit "Remnants" (sp???) end up laying until the Sun collapses upon its self.

Me... Scott35

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#32388 - 01/07/04 02:20 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
rmiell  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 242
La Junta, Co. USA
What about using al conduit in earth? What is considered supplementary protection?

I have an oppurtunity to purchase some 2" and 4" al conduit (roughly 200' of each), real cheap (excess from a big job close to my location). Would it be worth it do get these?

I can see a use up a pole (riser), or maybe even as a mast(it is a strong as a GRC mast, isn't it?). Underground lateral into a meter socket, would eliminate the need for a PVC expansion fitting.

Any thoughts?

Rick Miell

#32389 - 01/07/04 06:19 PM Re: Aluminium or Steel Conduit  
CRW  Offline
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 159
Bethlehem, PA USA
I don't believe you can use it for a mast to support the service drop. I've used it as a service riser mounted to the building surface. In Chicago you couldn't bury it because minerals in the soil will corrode it. Definitely not in concrete. I never really hear of people burying it at all.

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